a fucking turd. Someone walked into the Arvada Olde Town cinemas
and hucked this big shit called Wicker Park on the screen
and then left us to watch. You know, there are many reasons a
movie can suck: bad story, bad acting, incompetent production
or direction. But it takes the convergence of many to make a truly
shitty movie. And it takes even more to make a movie as monumentally
crappy as Wicker Park. This movie is the only place besides
my family reunions where so much boringness, stupidity and unbelievable
horseshit collide. It's as bad as donkey porn, only way more pretentious
and way less interesting.
Park is an "erotic thriller" written by that fat girl in your
high school class who ate lunch by herself and was believed to
have masturbated with her piccolo in French class. To swallow
it you have to believe that there only five people living in Chicago.
How else can you explain the incredible coincidences? You also
have to believe there is pure, true love in the world. That is,
love so powerful that it gives you the right to fuck over everyone
in your path and hurt as many feelings as you like because, God
dammit!, you have true love. In real life, you don't get a do-over
because you found "true love." True, pure love is the kind of
fairytale crap spoonfed to fat women who watch the Lifetime channel
all day in their pajamas and live with 16 cats so they won't kill
themselves in despair before the ads for Folgers coffee.
Park has no anchor in reality; it's just the free-floating
fantasy of how people behave as imagined by someone with no friends.
It's stuffed with the fashions and furniture who draw their imaginations
from Pier One catalogs. And just so you know, there is no thriller
part. None. It boils down to tedious dolts whining, but nothing
Hartnett, the human nap, is a Chicago advertising executive--a
job held by the heartthrob in every hack romance ever concocted
by a writer with "Rex Morgan" comics hung in his cubicle--who
pines for an ex-lover (Rose Byrne) that he lost touch with two
years before. This is his one true love, so much so, I guess,
that he's already nearly engaged to someone else. He can't stop
thinking about his ex, and since it's "true love" the movie asks
us to accept his obsession and the way he fucks over his current
girlfriend as just fine. As he is about to leave his current,
horsefaced betrothed for a business trip to China, he thinks he
spies the ex out of the corner of his eye in a restaurant.
telling horsey, he postpones the trip and spends the time stalking
his ex. And I mean stalking. It's not the innocent stuff like
me digging through an old girlfriend's trash to inhale the musky
odor of her half-eaten taquitos, or to see if she's thrown out
any of her bones that I can take home to reconstruct her from.
this is creepy stalking. He breaks into her hotel room and steals
her property, takes her personal letters and replaces them with
his own, and breaks into her apartment and hides out.
the girl returns to the apartment, it's not his ex but a stranger
(Diane Kruger) with the same name and taste, and who creeps him
out before fucking him. We know there must be something wrong
with her because she looks like she always has a runny nose. Hartnett
lets Kruger bone him, not because he's attracted to her but because
the script requires it. In fact, all of Wicker Park's action
is predicated not by logic or moral, but by some fucking asshole
screenwriter's idiotic belief that we won't notice that none of
it makes sense if the characters pout and mope a lot. Hey, asshole:
characters only matter when they're developed enough to justify
enough, Hartnett figures out that the girl he screwed is somehow
entangled with his true love. In fact, she's the ex's friend who's
been in love with Hartnett from afar forever, and has assumed
his ex's identity in order to get to him. She is also dating his
best friend (Matthew Lillard). Like I said, there are only five
people in Chicago; that's the only way to plausibly explain the
coincidences and entanglements.
Wicker Park's path, it gives Lillard a chance to show America
that he's more than the obnoxious, braying asshole he plays in
comedies. He can be just as braying and obnoxious in dramas. Is
there anyone who sees Lillard's name in the newspaper and doesn't
think "That's gotta be awful." Do studios hire him to secretly
tip us off not to see their movies?
climax of Wicker Park, a showdown in a restaurant where
Hartnett confronts Kruger is about as dull and stale as the dessert
menu at Denny's. There are no fireworks, no excitement and no
tension. There's definitely the sense that the director thinks
he's weaved such a brilliant story that we give a gorilla's tit,
but I didn't. Smart movies can get away with mental showdowns
for their climaxes. Terrible movies like this one need to blow
something up. The girl should go nuts. Yeah, that's predictable,
but it's a hell of a lot better than nothing.
Paul McGuigan makes this the most pretentious pile of shit since
Kenneth Branagh took a dump at Buckingham Palace. The movie doesn't
suffer from an unsure hand. McGuigan is plenty self-assured. So
much so that it seems to have never occurred to him how fucking
trite, unconvincing and awful his story is. He fetishizes locations,
shoes and other images as though he's convinced he's making art.
You can tell a shitload of time was spent on the details, and
none on the important parts. Like McGuigan decided to use pretzel-like
timing before he decided to make sense. So, he keeps piling on
the atmosphere and fancy camera work, without having anything
to say. I think he wants to say something about obsession because
this girl is obsessed with him the same way he is with his ex.
Yeah? And so fucking what? That doesn't make her likable, it only
makes both her and Hartnett pathetic and whiny.
Hartnett is so fucking bad. He's probably good-looking enough
to model underwear in the K-Mart circular, although I'm not sure
he has the range for it. His face shows no emotion and that stupid
haircut makes him look like he should be wearing Toughskins. He
mopes through this movie, never convincing us he gives a fuck
about the women he's supposedly obsessed with. I don't think he
knows how. The actresses are as crappy, maybe worse. Kruger thinks
a runny nose constitutes sadness. Byrne is stiffer than the dicks
of shore-leave sailors.
Park is advertised as creepy and it is, but not for any of
the reasons it thinks. It wants the stranger to be creepy, but
she's drippy. It wants Hartnett to be sexy, but only woodpeckers
will be turned on by his acting. What's creepy is amorality of
the script, and the way the movie plays out as though we're rooting
for these vapid, icky people to find love. Fuck 'em all. Hartnett's
character should say, "You know what? I'm dating someone else
now and I owe her the decency of staying faithful, and not fucking
her over. I should stay miserable and attached rather than follow
my heart." Because that's how we do it in Arvada.
stinky finger right out of my ass for Wicker Park.
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